City of Roses
|Well, Cindy Sheehan says that New Orleans is being occupied by our troops and military and governmental fascism has gone out of control there so, yes, we should pull out of there immediately before the freedom fighters start flooding the area!
But moving to a most serious tone beyond the Sheehan doctrine, there is another unacceptable milestone in which what truly is a "quagmire" has crossed, and that is November 27th of last year marked the day when the Iraq war became longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II (beginning with Germany's declaration of war on the United States on December 11, 1941, four days after Pearl Harbor, and ending when the United States declared victory in Europe on May 8, 1945, a total of 1,244 days).
I bring up this milestone because often throughout these past forty-six months, those most staunchly in favor of the war have brought up various historical comparisons to try and justify what this mission is about, which many proponents have compared to our involvement in World War II. Indeed the world was truly at risk of global tyranny, pitted against a massive and powerful enemy, during World War II, and while I certainly am no fan of war in general, I can also understand why there was no use arguing then when millions of lives were being incessantly not just at risk, but threatened.
Crossing this sort of milestone just proves once and for all that this war is virtually nothing like World War II; that it is a war driven by interest and ideology despite what the soundbytes coming from its architects may lead to suggesting otherwise. To some it may sound like conspiracy talking, but I find it quite obvious when the excuses and rationale for invading have ceaselessly evolved since the beginning, from being about 1) finding weapons of mass destruction, to 2) liberating the Iraqi people, to 3) establishing democracy and elections in Iraq (which this administration originally opposed establishing elections until al-Sistani pressured our government), to 4) nation-building (also initially opposed by this administration) to 5) combatting "fascism" across the Middle East with Iraq being the center of the war on it, to what is apparently now 6) "sacrifice". (I possibly may have over-looked several other excuses)
BBC: January 2, 2007
That last one especially, suggested in a new BBC report of President Bush’s “new Iraq strategy”, was quoting a senior American official, who said this strategy will be about troop increases in Iraq and "sacrifice". It gets even worse still, with NBC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski admitting himself that this move of "surge and accelerate" in Iraq is being done so more politically than militarily.
Think Progress: January 3, 2007
WILLIAMS: First, NBC News pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski has learned that President Bush is prepared to announce a strategy of surge and accelerate in Iraq, which would involve some 20,000 additional American troops being sent to Iraq. Jim is with us from the Pentagon with more on this tonight. Jim. Good evening.
MIKLASZEWSKI: Good evening, Brian. Administration officials told us today that President Bush has now all but decided to surge those additional troops into Baghdad to try to control over the violence there and only then could they accelerate the turnover of territory to Iraqi security forces. Fact is they’re not up to the task yet. The plan would also throw more U.S. money at Iraq for reconstruction and a jobs program. Interestingly enough, one administration official admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq. While this plan will clearly draw some stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, the president is expected to announce it a week from today.
WILLIAMS: Jim Miklaszewski on duty for us today. Thanks for that.
Vanity Fair: November 3, 2006
Even the very neoconservative architects of this war have come out admitting everything is going wrong there and even placing all the blame on Bush's doorstep. Former Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee Richard Perle (who was among those so adamant about invading Iraq that he was even a signatory of the January 26, 1998 PNAC letter sent to President Clinton calling for the military overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and who also thought that this mission would be such a piece of cake he advocated only sending 40,000 troops to Iraq and argued vociferously against the 250,000 General Eric Shinseki proposed) said this in an interview with Vanity Fair's David Rose last November:
"I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.' … I don't say that because I no longer believe that Saddam had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction, or that he was not in contact with terrorists. I believe those two premises were both correct. Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."
The article goes on interviewing other prominent neoconservative figures, including David Frum, Bush's former speechwriter who co-wrote his 2002 State of the Union address that accused Iraq of being part of an "axis of evil", who suggests defeat may now be inescapable, and Pentagon insider Kenneth Adelman who says, "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional."
Regardless of how genuinely these figures feel about the state of the war in Iraq now, the only real reason they're speaking out strongly all of a sudden is to attempt to re-write the history of their involvement and planning behind this invasion, in hopes of opportunistically treating President Bush and his administration as scapegoats, as the sole people responsible for this foreign policy mess they started, in hopes perhaps they can re-define themselves and once again influence our foreign policy to what I like to think of as "long war terms", which the departure of Donald Rumsfeld symbolizes the significant collapse of neoconservative influence in this administration.
This call for "surge and accelerate", becoming famously known as the "McCain Doctrine", something which the Baker-Hamilton led Iraq Study Group themselves claimed would be a mistake if it isn't done for the purpose of training Iraqi soldiers and ensuring it's done temporarily rather than "sustained" as McCain believes, is being driven by ego above all else. It's about continuing this senseless war, about refusing to admit their faults and mistakes and stubbornly hoping to avoid speaking them in that such a "sign of weakness" in their minds would forever damage public view of the "long war" kind of foreign policy and halt those profiteering from this war.
Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll: December 13, 2006
It's a cynical ploy which I find absolutely despicable, a cynical ploy which majorities in both the civilian and military populations outright oppose (a mere 12% of Americans in a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll conducted in mid-December support a troop increase, while 52% support a fixed timetable for withdrawal). The American people are speaking that they want LESS troops in Iraq, NOT more. And several Republican senators have already come out joining the Democrats in opposition, including Norm Coleman and Chuck Hagel, who called it "Alice in Wonderland".
And, consequentially from this cynical ploy, it's our young men and women in uniform who suffer the most, who on local levels, both individually and as teams, have done may wonderful things for Iraqi communities everywhere despite our government screwing up in the general sense, opening schools and hospitals in Iraq, caring for the elderly and children, even the heartwarming story of an Army specialist who took a young deaf Iraqi girl to a Miami hospital to have a cochlear implant so she could hear again. I couldn't be more proud of what our troops are doing; in contrast I couldn't be more outraged with the negligence of this administration, who are literally rolling over and behaving like a recalcitrant eleven-year old boy who refuses to do his chores, saying, "Let someone else do them!". That's how they're acting on Iraq, suggesting "Let the next president take care of it!", and in the process literally endangering the lives of our young men and women, leaving them fending for themselves.
It has been made widely clear that most Americans want this administration to begin a strategy in pulling out incrementally. The American public made their voices heard loud and clear last November when they went to the polls and expressed their dissatisfaction with the Iraq war's handling as one of two top issues. And, apparently, the administration still isn't listening to that message.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"